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Naturally occurring nanotube with surface modification as biocompatible, target-specific nanocarrier for cancer phototherapy

Li, Luo-Yuan, Zhou, Yi-Ming, Gao, Rong-Yao, Liu, Xiao-Chen, Du, Hui-Hui, Zhang, Jia-Ling, Ai, Xi-Cheng, Zhang, Jian-Ping, Fu, Li-Min, Skibsted, Leif H.
Biomaterials 2019 v.190-191 pp. 86-96
biocompatibility, biomimetics, breast neoplasms, cell membranes, cell viability, halloysite, humans, in vivo studies, mice, nanocarriers, nanotubes, neoplasm cells, photosensitizing agents, phototherapy
Phototherapy has drawn increasing attention including the use of nanocarriers with high drug loading capacity and delivery efficacy for target-specific therapy. We have made use of naturally-occurring halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) to build a biomimetic nanocarrier platform for target-specific delivery of phototherapeutic agents. The HNTs were decorated with poly(sodium-p-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) to enhance the biocompatibility, and were further functionalized by lumen loading the type-II photosensitizer indocyanine green (ICG). The HNT-PSS-ICG nanocarrier, without further tethering targeting groups, was shown to associate with the membrane of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) via Pickering effects. Application of HNT-PSS-ICG nanocarrier to human breast cancer cells gave rise to a cell mortality as high as 95%. The HNT-PSS-ICG nanocarrier was further coated with MDA-MB-436 cell membranes to endow it with targeting therapy performance against breast cancer, which was confirmed by in vivo experiments using breast cancer tumors in mice. The membrane-coated and biocompatible nanocarrier preferentially concentrated in the tumor tissue, and efficiently decreased the tumor volume by a combination of photodynamic and photothermal effects upon near-infrared light exposure. Our results demonstrate that the HNT-based nanocarrier by virtue of facial preparation and high loading capacity can be a promising candidate for membrane-targeting nanocarriers.